For the first time in the nine-year history of the tournament, the Firecracker was broken into two flights this year, with a seven-member tournament committee pre-ranking players according to their handicaps.
As always, the teams were then chosen using a blind draw format the night before the tournament. Individuals deemed A-plus players were paired with B-minus and C-minus competitors to make up the tournament's A flight. A-minus folks were put with B-plus and C-plus competitors to make up the B flight.
This year's second-place finishers in the A bracket were Bill Johnson, Gene Davis and Scott Jacobs, while Ian Isenberg, Robert Teal and Michael David finished third, and Lex Hilton, Colt Compton and Ricky Hutson finished fourth.
In the B flight, the team of Phillip Crisp, Ed Blackstock and Kent VanSlambrook finished first, while Mike Brown, Jack Allen and Kris Hardwich finished second. Barry Driggers, B.J. Leviner and Steve Stewart finished third, and Johnny Allen, Gerrald Turner, and Scott Hunter finished fourth.
The Firecracker golf tournament tradition began nearly a decade ago when 20 guys decided to get together and play a round of golf at the Cheraw Country Club following a tournament format. Former country club employee Walt Solt helped the men get that round of golf together, classifying each players handicap and dividing them into teams. Since its second year, the tournament has averaged 108 players.
With Solt's passing due to cancer in the third year of the tournament, it was decided to use proceeds from the contest to make repairs at the club in his honor.
"He did a lot to help us start this tournament and we want to do something that will honor him," founding Firecracker Board member Jap Roddy said.
For the past two years the tournament has also sold extra shots on par three holes to benefit cancer victims. The recipients of the donations remain anonymous, but Roddy said in two years the tournament has given victims $3,700.
"All the money raised on the par three's have gone to medical bills," Roddy said.
Other founding Firecracker Board members still serving on the Firecracker committee are Lee Wilkerson and Scott Tomberlin.
Marty Merriman, Billy Amick, Chris Smith and Scott Douglas also serve on the Firecracker Board.
Merriman said over 300 invitations spanning five states were sent out to players for this year's tournament.
Leighton Bell may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.